City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

The Perfect Blend

Local entrepreneur, Jesse Derbyshire, gives us a peek inside his health and wellness-focused business.

"Be sure to drink water with ginger and lemon ... helps with inflammation!" This was the simple advice given to me by Blend Juice Bar owner, Jesse Derbyshire, upon first meeting him. I'd shared that I was having knee surgery the following morning, and he was quick to offer a nourishing recipe to help support my recovery. Color me intrigued.

It was clear that this man knew his stuff, so far as healing beverages are concerned. So, I asked him to share a little more about running his wellness-centered business and how he practices what he preaches as he cultivates a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle for his family.

In a time when self-care and wellness trends abound, I found it refreshing that in my conversation with Jesse, he never once mentioned a self-care fad. His wellness philosophy was void of buzzwords or of-the-moment notions, demonstrating instead a consistency and dedication that takes its time. His clear devotion to healthy living consists of simple-yet-effective things that live outside the realm of fleeting trends with unstable shelf lives. He completed his first-ever juice cleanse more than 30 years ago, for example, well before it was a mainstream practice.

Juice cleanses, incidentally, stand as a fantastic resolution for anyone wanting to kick off the new year in good health. But if that feels a little daunting, he offers an alternative, more approachable suggestion for all of us juicing newbies: Pick one realistic, manageable healthy thing to add to your daily routine, and replace an unhealthy habit with that. Committing to this single change can spawn additional healthy choices, resulting in a snowball effect of the best kind.

So as to not just talk the talk, Derbyshire made the decision to replace his daily soda with a (much healthier) green juice more than 10 years ago and never looked back. Small but intentional changes like this are what make all the difference, Derbyshire asserts. This is a great place to start when making a health and wellness-focused resolution in the new year. These are the things that add up over time. 

It's a solid formula he's developed, to be sure, on both the lifestyle and business fronts. Time spent with family. Laughter. Fresh air and fresh, nourishing food. These are the intangibles; the invaluable building blocks of a life well-lived, and well-loved. 

I'll drink (a green juice) to that. 

Quick Fire Q & A with Jesse Derbyshire

What do you do for fun?

We treat all of the Old Village as our outdoor playground. From tennis, bike rides and rollerblading to the Post House Inn and shark tooth hunting at the Pitt Street Bridge - we make the most of our neighborhood. I also love to create in the kitchen. I learned to cook from my grandpa and now my son has taken a liking to helping me in the kitchen. He’s my sous chef. 

Can you share Blend's origin story?

I wanted to make a healthy living juice that actually tasted good. I was in California, years ago, doing an intense detox, when I learned about and actually felt the benefits of natural foods and phytonutrients. "Living juice" has living enzymes and hasn't been heat treated or pressurized in the bottling process. 

I wasn't a healthy eater as a child and as an adult, I knew I needed to incorporate more nutrients in my diet. Before Blend, there weren’t any juices that were both healthy AND delicious in the Charleston market. I recognized an opportunity to bring the “healthy goodness” to Charleston. Now, Blend uses neither heat nor pressure, and we offer fresh, living juices every day. 

Does your family play a role in your business?

John Colin was three when he started helping out, peeling bananas and greeting customers. One of my favorite parts of Blend is the legacy I'm leaving for my children. While my family isn't involved in daily operations, my parents have played an integral role in its success. My mother’s energy bites inspired ours, and my father’s incredible business sense and work ethic instilled key values in me.

What are your future plans for Blend? 

We hope to partner with like-minded businesses in Charleston to support people on their wellness journeys. We also hope to open a downtown location and possibly franchise, as well. 

Our Love Bites (formerly Blend Bites) have been a local favorite for the past eight years and we're preparing to launch them nationwide.

Originally from Lima, OH, Derbyshire has called Charleston home for 32 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, taking advantage of the abundance of outdoor activities afforded in and around Shem Creek. From tennis courts, bike rides, and rollerblading to meals at the Post House Inn and shark tooth hunting on the Pitt Street Bridge, they treat their Old Village neighborhood as a playground. 

I was fascinated with the benefits of "living" juice and realized that there was an opportunity to bring the healthy goodness to Charleston. Overall, the goal of Blend is to be a place where people can experience healthy living, whether they are new to juicing or juicing vets. I wanted to show that something good FOR you can also taste great as well.